Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (4): 468-477    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0003-y
Research Articles     
Effects of cotton field management practices on soil CO2 emission and C balance in an arid region of Northwest China
QianBing ZHANG1,2, Ling YANG1, ZhenZhu XU3, YaLi ZHANG1, HongHai LUO1, Jin WANG4, WangFeng ZHANG1
1 Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology Agriculture of Xinjiang Production and Construction Groups, College of Agriculture, Shihezi Univer¬sity, Shihezi 832003, China;
2 College of Animal Science & Technology, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, China;
3 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;
4 Wulanwusu Agrometeorological Experiment Station of Xinjiang, Shihezi 832003, China
Download:   PDF(124KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

Abstract  Changes in both soil organic C storage and soil respiration in farmland ecosystems may affect atmospheric CO2 concentration and global C cycle. The objective of this field experiment was to study the effects of three crop field management practices on soil CO2 emission and C balance in a cotton field in an arid region of Northwest China. The three management practices were irrigation methods (drip and flood), stubble managements (stubble-incorporated and stubble-removed) and fertilizer amendments (no fertilizer (CK), chicken manure (OM), inorganic N, P and K fertilizer (NPK), and inorganic fertilizer plus chicken manure (NPK+OM)). The results showed that within the C pool range, soil CO2 emission during the whole growing season was higher in the drip irrigation treatment than in the corresponding flood irrigation treatment, while soil organic C concentration was larger in the flood irrigation treatment than in the corresponding drip irrigation treatment. Furthermore, soil CO2 emission and organic C concentration were all higher in the stubble-incorporated treatment than in the corresponding stubble-removed treatment, and larger in the NPK+OM treatment than in the other three fertilizer amendments within the C pool range. The combination of flood irrigation, stubble incorporation and application of either NPK+OM or OM increased soil organic C concentration in the 0−60 cm soil depth. Calculation of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) under different management practices indicated that the combination of drip irrigation, stubble incorporation and NPK+OM increased the size of the C pool most, followed by the combination of drip irrigation, stubble incorporation and NPK. In conclusion, management practices have significant impacts on soil CO2 emission, organic C concentration and C balance in cotton fields. Consequently, appropriate management practices, such as the combination of drip irriga¬tion, stubble incorporation, and either NPK+OM or NPK could increase soil C storage in cotton fields of Northwest China.

Key wordsvegetation cover      precipitation      land use      the Grain for Green Program      the He-Long region     
Received: 13 July 2013      Published: 12 August 2014

The National Basic Re¬search Program of China (2006CB708401) and the Doctor Subject Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (20116518110002).

Corresponding Authors: WangFeng ZHANG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

QianBing ZHANG, Ling YANG, ZhenZhu XU, YaLi ZHANG, HongHai LUO, Jin WANG, WangFeng ZHANG. Effects of cotton field management practices on soil CO2 emission and C balance in an arid region of Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(4): 468-477.

URL:     OR

Al-Kaisi M M, Yin X H. 2005. Tillage and crop residue effects on soil carbon and carbon dioxide emission in cornsoybean rotations. Journal of Environmental Quality, 34: 437–445.

Berthrong S T, Buckley D H, Drinkwater L E. 2013. Agricultural management and labile carbon additions affect soil microbial community structure and interact with carbon and nitrogen cycling. Microbial Ecology, 66: 158–170.

Burke M K, Raynald D J. 1994. Fine root growth phenology, production, and turnover in a northern hardwood forest ecosystems. Plant and Soil, 162: 135−146.

Chai Z P, Liang Z, Wang X M, et al. 2008. The influence of the different methods of irrigation on the soil physical properties in cotton field. Journal of Xinjiang Agricultural University, 31(5): 57−59.

Chen Q S, Li L H, Han X G, et al. 2003. Effects of water content on soil respiration and the mechanisms. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 23(5): 972−978.

Du Z L, Ren T S, Hu C S. 2010. Tillage and residue removal effects on soil carbon and nitrogen storage in the North China plain. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 74: 196−202.

Entry J A, Sojka R E, Shewmaker G E. 2002. Management of irrigated agriculture to increase organic carbon storage in soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 66: 1957−1964.

Freibauer A, Rounsevell M D A, Smith C P, et al. 2004. Carbon sequestration in the agricultural soils of Europe. Geoderma, 122: 1−23.

Friedlingstein P, Dufresne J L, Cox P M, et al. 2003. How positive is the feedback between climate change and the carbon cycle? Tellus B, 55: 692−700.

Han G X, Zhou G S, Xu Z Z, et al. 2007. Soil temperature and biotic factors drive the seasonal variation of soil respiration in a maize (Zea mays L.) agricultural ecosystem. Plant and Soil, 291: 15−26.

Han G X, Zhou G S, Xu Z Z. 2008. Research and prospects for soil respiration of farmland ecosystems in China. Journal of Plant Ecology (Chinese Version), 32(3): 719−733.

Han C L, Liu M, Zhang W F, et al. 2010a. The depth variation characteristics of soil potassium in continuous cotton field and its changes with different cultivation practices. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, 43(14): 2913−2922.

Han L, Zhang Y L, Jin S, et al. 2010b. Effect of different irrigation patterns on soil dissolved organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon in protected field. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, 43(8): 1625−1633.

Jassal R S, Black T A, Novak M D, et al. 2008. Effect of soil water stress on soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity in an 18-year-old temperate Douglas-fir stand. Global Change Biology, 14: 1305−1318.

Johnston C A, Groffman P, Breshears D D, et al. 2004. Carbon cycling in soil. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2: 522−528.

Lal R. 2004a. Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science, 304: 1623−1627.

Lal R. 2004b. Soil carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change. Geoderma, 123: l−22.

Lee M S, Nakane K, Nakatsubo T, et al. 2003. Seasonal changes in the contribution of root respiration to total soil respiration in a cool-temperate deciduous forest. Plant and Soil, 255: 311−318.

Li M F, Dong Y S, Geng Y B, et al. 2004. Analyses of the correlation between the fluxes of CO2 and the distribution of C and N in grassland soils. Environmental Science, 25: 7−11.

Li Z G, Zhang R H, Wang X J, et al. 2011. Carbon dioxide fluxes and concentrations in a cotton field in Northwestern China: effects of plastic mulching and drip irrigation. Pedosphere, 21: 178−185.

Malhi S S, Nyborg M, Goddard T, et al. 2011. Long-term tillage, straw management and N fertilization effects on quantity and quality of organic C and N in a Black Chernozem soil. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 90: 227−241.

Ogle S M, Jay Breidt F, Eve M D, et al. 2003. Uncertainty in estimating land use and management impacts on soil organic carbon storage for US agricultural lands between 1982 and 1997. Global Change Biol¬ogy, 9: 1521−1542.

Priess J A, de Koning G H, Veldkamp A. 2001. Assessment of interactions between land use change and carbon and nutrient fluxes in Ecuador. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 85: 269−279.

Qi Z Y, Wang H Y, Wang J L, et al. 2003. The development on the research of terrestrial ecosystem soil respiration. System Sciences and Comprehensive Studies in Agriculture, 19(2): 116−119.

Raich J W, Tufekcioglu A. 2000. Vegetation and soil respiration: correlations and controls. Biogeochemistry, 48: 71−90.

Sainju U M, Jabro J D, Stevens W B. 2008. Soil carbon dioxide emission and carbon content as affected by irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and nitrogen fertilization. Journal of Environmental Quality, 37: 98−106.

Sánchez M L, Ozores M I, López M J, et al. 2003. Soil CO2 fluxes beneath barley on the central Spanish plateau. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 118: 85−95.

Smith P. 2008. Land use change and soil organic carbon dynamics. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 81: 169−178.

Swift R S. 2001. Sequestration of carbon by soil. Soil Science, 166: 858−871.

Wang L G, Qiu J J, Ma Y L, et al. 2004. Apply DNDC model to analysis long-term effect of soil organic carbon content under different fertilization and plough mode. Journal of China Agricultural Univer¬sity, 9(6): 15−19.

Wichem F, Luedeling E, Müller T, et al. 2004. Field measurements of the CO2 evolution rate under different crops during an irrigation cycle in a mountain oasis of Oman. Applied Soil Ecology, 25: 85−91.

Wise M, Calvin K, Thomson A, et al. 2009. Implications of limiting CO2 concentrations for land use and energy. Science, 324: 1183−1186.

Wu L S, Wood Y, Jiang P P, et al. 2008. Carbon sequestration and dynamics of two irrigated agricultural soils in California. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72: 808−814.

Xu M, Qi Y. 2001. Soil-surface CO2 efflux and its spatial and temporal variations in a young ponderosa pine plantation in northern California. Global Change Biology, 7: 667−677.

Yang L F, Cai Z C. 2005. Soil respiration during maize growth period affected by N application rates. Acta Pedologica Sinica, 42(1): 9−15.

Yeomans J C, Bremner J M. 1988. A rapid and precise method for routine determination of organic carbon in soil. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 19: 1467−1476.

Zhang Y, Zhang H L, Chen J K, et al. 2009. Tillage effects on soil respiration and contributions of its components in winter wheat field. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, 42(9): 3354−3360.

Zheng J F, Cheng K, Pan G X, et al. 2011. Perspectives on studies on soil carbon stocks and the carbon sequestration potential of China. Chinese Science Bulletin, 35: 3748−3758.

[1] WANG Junjie, SHI Bing, ZHAO Enjin, CHEN Xuguang, YANG Shaopeng. Synergistic effects of multiple driving factors on the runoff variations in the Yellow River Basin, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(8): 835-857.
[2] Brian COLLINS, Hadi RAMEZANI ETEDALI, Ameneh TAVAKOL, Abbas KAVIANI. Spatiotemporal variations of evapotranspiration and reference crop water requirement over 1957-2016 in Iran based on CRU TS gridded dataset[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(8): 858-878.
[3] Nirmal M DAHAL, XIONG Donghong, Nilhari NEUPANE, Belayneh YIGEZ, ZHANG Baojun, YUAN Yong, Saroj KOIRALA, LIU Lin, FANG Yiping. Spatiotemporal analysis of drought variability based on the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index in the Koshi River Basin, Nepal[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(5): 433-454.
[4] Türkan BAYER ALTIN, Bekir N ALTIN. Response of hydrological drought to meteorological drought in the eastern Mediterranean Basin of Turkey[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(5): 470-486.
[5] Ibtihal AL-MANTHRIA, Abdulrahim M AL-ISMAILIA, Hemesiri KOTAGAMAB, Mumtaz KHANC, L H Janitha JEEWANTHAD. Water, land, and energy use efficiencies and financial evaluation of air conditioner cooled greenhouses based on field experiments[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(4): 375-387.
[6] Ayad M F AL-QURAISHI, Heman A GAZNAYEE, Mattia CRESPI. Drought trend analysis in a semi-arid area of Iraq based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Normalized Difference Water Index and Standardized Precipitation Index[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(4): 413-430.
[7] XIANG Longwei, WANG Hansheng, JIANG Liming, SHEN Qiang, Holger STEFFEN, LI Zhen. Glacier mass balance in High Mountain Asia inferred from a GRACE release-6 gravity solution for the period 2002-2016[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(3): 224-238.
[8] TENG Zeyu, XIAO Shengchun, CHEN Xiaohong, HAN Chao. Soil bacterial characteristics between surface and subsurface soils along a precipitation gradient in the Alxa Desert, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(3): 257-273.
[9] Sanim BISSENBAYEVA, Jilili ABUDUWAILI, Assel SAPAROVA, Toqeer AHMED. Long-term variations in runoff of the Syr Darya River Basin under climate change and human activities[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(1): 56-70.
[10] HUANG Xiaotao, LUO Geping, CHEN Chunbo, PENG Jian, ZHANG Chujie, ZHOU Huakun, YAO Buqing, MA Zhen, XI Xiaoyan. How precipitation and grazing influence the ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, China?[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(1): 88-97.
[11] Esmail HEYDARI ALAMDARLOO, Hassan KHOSRAVI, Sahar NASABPOUR, Ahmad GHOLAMI. Assessment of drought hazard, vulnerability and risk in Iran using GIS techniques[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(6): 984-1000.
[12] Samia S CORTéS, Juan I WHITWORTH-HULSE, Eduardo L PIOVANO, Diego E GURVICH, Patricio N MAGLIANO. Changes in rainfall partitioning caused by the replacement of native dry forests of Lithraea molleoides by exotic plantations of Pinus elliottii in the dry Chaco mountain forests, central Argentina[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 717-729.
[13] HE Qian, DAI Xiao'ai, CHEN Shiqi. Assessing the effects of vegetation and precipitation on soil erosion in the Three-River Headwaters Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 865-886.
[14] YANG Meilin, YU Yang, ZHANG Haiyan, WANG Qian, GAN Miao, YU Ruide. Tree ring based drought variability in Northwest Tajikistan since 1895 AD[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(3): 413-422.
[15] XU Lili, YU Guangming, ZHANG Wenjie, TU Zhenfa, TAN Wenxia. Change features of time-series climate variables from 1962 to 2016 in Inner Mongolia, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(1): 58-72.